Sidibe's own life -- born in Brooklyn, raised in Harlem by an R&B singing mother -- couldn't be further from that of her character in "Precious," in which she plays an illiterate abused teenage mother of two.
"When I was looking for Precious, I interviewed 400 girls," director Lee Daniels told Peter Travers, the host of ABC News Now's "Popcorn." "I saw Gabby's audition tape and she starts talking like this white girl from California."
Next up for the 26-year-old is "Yelling to the Sky," a Sundance project in which she plays a bully opposite Zoe Kravitz, the daughter of her "Precious" co-star Lenny Kravitz.
After that, Kilday said it may be a challenge for Hollywood and the independent film arena to find roles for Sidibe.
"Hollywood isn't always creative," he said. "To try to find roles that she will fit well in is going to be tricky. She may in some senses find herself competing with Jennifer Hudson, who already has an Oscar under her belt. Hudson hasn't done much in the way of film work since 'Dreamgirls.' I think Gabourey might face the same challenges."